Inclusive education was widely and passionately discussed at our first Quality Teaching webinar for teachers of students with a disability this term.
The number of students with disability in Australian schools is steadily climbing, with many of them in mainstream classes. Quality teaching is acknowledged as the single most important factor to ensure positive educational outcomes for all students.
The webinar brought together educators from diverse settings including Schools for Specific Purposes (SSPs), support units, and mainstream classes. They had the opportunity to hear insights from a panel of teachers and leaders with experience applying the Quality Teaching Model and QTR in their schools and classrooms.
Angus Draffan, Principal of Kotara School (SSP) said traditionally there wasn’t a focus on quality teaching in special and inclusive education and the applicability of the Quality Teaching Model had always been questioned.
“Now, after 18 months working with it, we know that it really is applicable,” he said.
His colleague and Kotara Assistant Principal, Leigh McGowan agreed. “Just because you’re in an SSP, doesn’t mean your students can’t be high achievers.”
Eliza Lewis is the head teacher special education at Cessnock High School. In her opinion, a focus on quality teaching is fundamental for both teachers and students.
“Our goal is to create lifelong learning opportunities. QT guides us to program consistent, engaging lessons to help us achieve this goal.”
One webinar participant, who teaches both mainstream and special education in a high school, said the webinar content validated his belief in the power of Quality Teaching to cross educational settings and support teachers to meet individual student needs.
As a principal who hasn’t taught his own class in many years, Angus put his hand up to teach the first observed lesson in QTR at his school. “It was satisfying, fun and valuable.” He passionately encouraged all teachers to give it a go.
Teachers interested in being part of growing a network of special educators focused on Quality Teaching can join our community to stay informed of future inclusive education focused events. You can sign up here.
You can also keep the discussion going by contributing to the thread in our Community Forum.
Thank you to all our panel members for sharing their time and experience so willingly.